Pretty Pictures ~ Jim Arnosky

   Babies in the Bayou was written and illustrated by the incredibly talented and knowledgeable Jim Arnosky.  Jim is an outdoorsman with a love for travel and music and an award-winning author and illustrator of over 150 books.  Self-taught in writing, art, and the natural sciences, his career is what I aspire to. 

   This is a gorgeous picture book recommended for ages 3-7! I found the following wonderful review here on Kirkus Reviews:

   A poetic text and soft acrylics present the various baby animals found in a bayou. Baby alligators “with black and yellow tails / and smiling mouths of sharp white teeth,” baby raccoons “with rings around their tails,” baby turtles “with shells upon their backs / and strong little legs to carry them” and baby ducks “with webs between their toes” form the progression in this deceptively simple, lovely offering. The text doesn’t name the animals at first, allowing children to take their cues from the illustrations and the textual clues, a technique that both encourages readers to interact with the narrative and highlights the lyricism of the language. Visually, the illustrations excel, a filtered green light unifying each scene, perspectives varying in a celebration of the richness of an environment in which the line between air and water seems almost nonexistent. The babies themselves are presented sequentially, each subsequent animal appearing appropriately in context (often as predator and prey) with its preceding one, until cycling back around to the first. No one does this better than Arnosky, and here, he is at his best.

   There are so many exciting activities that could be tied into this book!  It could be read prior to a field trip at an outdoor learning center or before taking an afternoon nature walk.  I love both of the following sensory bins/tubs that could easily be converted into a bayou with the addition of a bunch of gators and a few clumps of moss and I especially like the "A is for Alligator" craft or the Alligator Circle Time Fun with this book:

Swamp Sensory Tub from No Time For Flashcards

Pond Sensory Tub from Play Create Explore
"A" is for Alligator from Totally Tots

Alligator (or Crocodile) Circle Time Fun from Making Learning Fun

1 comment :

  1. Oh, the adventures we will have! These books are so colorful & fun!